Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published on: August 31, 2010
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Pages: 479
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal Copy
Buy on Amazon | Buy on Chapters Indigo
Rating:
Also in this series: Clockwork Prince
Also by this author: Clockwork Prince

About the Book

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...


REVIEW

I think I should give you fair warning that at the time I decided to read Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare I had already marked some of Cassandra Clare’s other work, namely the Mortal Instruments Series, as DNF. As a result I was very hesitant to even begin any of the books in the Infernal Devices series. In the end, I was convinced to give it a try by some of my fellow Ontario Blog Squad members and I am very glad that they did.

For me the first half of the book was a whole lot of nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, but not a lot happened. It was all talk and getting to know the characters, but really very little action. While I did like having the opportunity to really learn about the characters, it was hard holding my attention when I just wanted something to happen. I do have to say that when the action started, it pretty much didn’t stop. It wasn’t over the top gory incidents either. I didn’t get the feeling that the events taking place weren’t realistic for the story, but rather they seamlessly fit right in.

While I did enjoy the book, I can’t say that I was really fond of a lot of the characters. Tessa annoyed me for some reason. Maybe it was her dependence on others, or her inability to see things clearly that drove me nuts. Was she a product of her environment and times? Yes! Does that mean I should make allowances for her character? Probably. Did she still annoy me anyway? Absolutely! And that was the best part. As annoying as she was, she was authentic to the times, her upbringing and her character. I really did not like Will, but he too was authentic. What I don’t understand is this need for the main male character in every YA book to be a borderline douche. Jem on the other hand came across as a very likeable, albeit, tragic character. Jess made me want to light myself on fire every time she appeared in the story.

There was something about the setting for this series that just worked for me. The setting of Victorian London was spot on and had me believing in the world of Shadowhunters, Demons and the like. Something about London during that time period comes across as a lot more believable than the backdrop of New York City that we find in The Mortal Instruments. What we know of London during that time due to historical record lends a great bit of credibility to this kind of world within a world that Cassandra Clare has created. London, as described in Clockwork Angel, is a cross between being seedy and posh and it is that dichotomy that makes the story work so well.

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The Lost Hero by Rick RiordanThe Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Published on: October 12, 2010
Genres: Fiction, Middle Grade
Pages: 557
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal Copy
Buy on Amazon | Buy on Chapters Indigo
Rating:
Also by this author: The Throne of Fire

About the Book

Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who;s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason's amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?


REVIEW

So at the time I read The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, I hadn’t yet read the Percy Jackson series by the same author.  I own all five books in that series, but I stopped reading them after the first one.  I can’t really say why.  I picked up this book on the sole strength of how much I love the books in the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan.

Can I just say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book?  I can’t really say that this book is better than the original Percy Jackson series as I haven’t read them yet, but in my opinion, this book can hold it’s own.

I could not stop giggling when I read this book.  The humor in this book, just as it was in the Kane Chronicles, just didn’t stop.  I am not really sure what it is about the Satyr’s that makes them so funny, but it just works.  Give that satyr a bit of a complex and a megaphone and the hilarity just doesn’t stop.

One thing I did appreciate about this book was not only the introduction of new characters, but the fact that each chapter or two was told from a different viewpoint.  I find that with these stories, getting the different view points works very well as each character has their own part to play in the story.  The best part of this book and in fact this series, is that not only does it get kids excited to read, but it teaches them quite a lot about mythology and in terms that they can understand.

 

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The Pact by Jodi PicoultThe Pact by Jodi Picoult
Published by Avon
Published on: August 29, 2006
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women
Pages: 512
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Copy
Rating:

About the Book

The Golds and the Hartes, neighbors for 18 years, have always been inseparable. So have their children—and it’s no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily’s friendship blossoms into something more. But the bonds of family, friendship, and passion—which had seemed so indestructible— suddenly threaten to unravel in the wake of unexpected tragedy.

When midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the truth. Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There’s a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris pilfered from his father’s cabinet—a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris describes.

This extraordinary, heart-rending novel paints an indelible portrait of families in anguish . . . and creates an astonishingly suspenseful courtroom drama, as Chris finds himself on trial for murder.

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I received this book for free from From the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Crushed Seraphim by Debra AnastasiaCrushed Seraphim by Debra Anastasia
Series: Seraphim #1
Published by Omnific Publishing
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 194
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Rating:

About the Book

How does a foul-mouthed angel end up as the last hope for all of Heaven and Earth?

When Seraph Emma is maimed and tossed from Heaven by a rogue angel who's taken charge, she fears she'll never be allowed to return. Tasked with the impossible job of showing the self-loathing (and not even human!) Jason his worth, Emma is sure she's doomed to fail.

Meanwhile, having wormed his way into Heaven, the corrupt Everett has trapped God in Hell and has designs on unleashing evil everywhere. Fortunately, if there's one thing Emma can't do (in addition to minding her language), it's give up. Determined to save Jason and get back to Heaven-even if it means going to Hell-Emma's plan is simple yet impossible: trick the Devil to save God.

What she doesn't count on is the devotion and, well, humanity she finds in Jason; the spirit, hidden compassion, and raw sex appeal within the Devil; and the vulnerability of her own heart. With the help of two unlikely allies, she'll wage the battle for Heaven. But will Emma be sidetracked by a new sort of heaven along the way?

What's truly more dangerous?

Falling from Heaven, or falling in love?

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But I Love Him by Amanda GraceBut I Love Him by Amanda Grace
Published by Flux
Published on: May 8, 2011
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Social Issues
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Copy
Rating:

About the Book

Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for hours. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he'll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him.

It's too bad I didn't keep any pieces for myself.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved - and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything - and everyone - in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

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